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The Violence of the Biblical God
Canonical Narrative and Christian Faith

PAPERBACK; Published: 1/8/2019
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7244-9
Price: $ 36.99
248 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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How can we make sense of violence in the Bible? Joshua commands the people of Israel to wipe out everyone in the promised land of Canaan, while Jesus commands God’s people to love their enemies. How are we to interpret biblical passages on violence when it is sanctioned at one point and condemned at another?

The Violence of the Biblical God by L. Daniel Hawk presents a new framework, solidly rooted in the authority of Scripture, for understanding the paradox of God’s participation in violence. Hawk shows how the historical narrative of the Bible offers multiple canonical pictures for faithful Christian engagement with the violent systems of the world.

William P. Brown
— Columbia Theological Seminary
“By examining the narrative rhetoric of various biblical testimonies, Daniel Hawk provides an unflinching look at the roles of divine violence in the Bible. With nuance and close readings matched by an overarching outlook, Hawk significantly advances the discussion by discerning a theologically profound narrative arc in how God works both within and outside the fray of human relationships. His aim is to move beyond heated debate toward faithful dialogue, which the Bible itself models.”
M. Daniel Carroll R.
— Wheaton College Graduate School
“Christians have wrestled with the violence of God in the Bible for two millennia, but today the issue is garnering increased attention within the church and in the public square. What is lacking among recent proposals is what this volume provides—a close reading of the biblical text that attends to all of Scripture with its challenging complexity. Hawk graciously invites respectful dialogue around this difficult topic. Join him—with an open Bible in hand.”
The Christian Century
“Hawk presents the Hebrew Bible as a poignant divine drama, a picture of a world in which lofty divine aspirations collide with recalcitrant realities of human nature.”
Scottish Journal of Theology
“Hawk’s work offers a challenging and insightful view on biblical violence. Without glossing over difficult texts, his careful reading and interpretation of the biblical narrative presents a compelling case for how we might reflect on God’s work within and beyond the systems of fallen humanity.”
Society for Old Testament Study Book List
“[Hawk] shows a deft touch in engaging with the biblical text and the issues therein, providing a number of interesting insights. In doing so, he provides a useful, accessible and different addition to work in this area.”
“Hawk treats the narrative skillfully. He regularly reveals complex elements that help ameliorate the offense of violence. He proposes, like Terence Fretheim, one of his main dialogue partners, that the biblical God enters into violence for the ultimate purpose of saving the creation from human violence that would destroy it.”
Religious Studies Review
“This volume would be suitable for undergraduate, graduate, and scholarly audiences, and helpful for courses in OT Introduction, the Problem of Evil, and OT and NT Theology. Recommended.”